Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Two women in custody for running checkpoints at Trump's Florida resort

Two women were arrested in Florida after police opened fire on them for running two security checkpoints near Mar-a-Lago on Friday in a car chase that was unrelated to U.S. President Donald Trump's resort, officials said. Trump was in Washington at the time, but was scheduled to leave for his Palm Beach resort later on Friday.

NRA drops challenge to Los Angeles disclosure law following repeal

The National Rifle Association agreed on Friday to end its lawsuit challenging a Los Angeles law that had required city contractors to disclose their ties to the gun rights group, after the Los Angeles City Council repealed the law. In a joint filing, lawyers for the NRA and Los Angeles asked U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson to transform his Dec. 11 preliminary injunction against enforcement into a permanent injunction, following the Jan. 21 repeal.

Second person dies from blast at Chesapeake well site

An explosion this week at a Texas oil well has claimed a second fatal victim, and two others injured by the blast remain hospitalized, Chesapeake Energy Corp, said on Friday. The oilfield worker, who was not identified, was a contractor and died on Thursday night from blast injuries, said Chesapeake, the operator of the well. Another contract worker died on Wednesday from the same incident.

Iowa's fast-growing Latino community gets new attention from Democrats

Latinos in Iowa, overlooked as a political force for years in the state that kicks off the U.S. presidential race, have been getting unprecedented attention in a too-close-to-call Democratic White House nominating fight. The predominantly white state has seen the Hispanic share of its population more than double to 6.2% since 2000, making it Iowa’s biggest minority group and a crucial voting bloc that could spell the difference in Monday's state caucuses and in the November election.

Democrat Warren sends star stand-in to Iowa: her dog Bailey

Stuck in Washington as a juror in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial while rivals for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination crisscross Iowa, Senator Elizabeth Warren has tapped a stand-in with undeniable voter appeal: her dog Bailey. The latest opinion polls show either Senator Bernie Sanders or former Vice President Joe Biden in the lead in Iowa just days before the state's Feb. 3 caucuses, the country's first contest to see who will challenge Trump in November's presidential election.

U.S. declares coronavirus public health emergency after imposing quarantines

The Trump administration, while insisting the risk to Americans from coronavirus is low, nevertheless declared a public health emergency on Friday and announced the extraordinary step of barring entry to the United States of foreign nationals who have traveled to China. In addition, starting on Sunday U.S. citizens who have traveled within the past two weeks to China's Hubei Province - epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic - will be subject to a mandatory quarantine of 14 days: the incubation period of the virus, officials said.

U.S. Senate rejects witnesses in Trump impeachment trial, clearing way for acquittal

The U.S. Senate on Friday voted against calling witnesses and collecting new evidence in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, clearing the way for Trump's almost certain acquittal in the coming days. By a vote of 51-49, the Republican-controlled Senate stopped Democrats' drive to hear testimony from witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton, who is thought to have first-hand knowledge of Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump's expanded travel ban targets Nigeria, five other countries

U.S. President Donald Trump will issue an expanded version of his travel ban on Friday that targets prospective immigrants from Nigeria and five other countries, U.S. officials said, a move that could affect thousands of people and reignite debate over whether the policy is discriminatory. Of the six countries added to the ban, four are African nations, leading to outcry from critics that the administration is bolstering a policy they claim was originally designed to target Muslim-majority nations.

Accuser says Weinstein raped her, likens former producer to 'Jekyll and Hyde'

A onetime aspiring actress told a Manhattan jury on Friday that Harvey Weinstein raped her in a hotel room while she was in an "extremely degrading" relationship with the movie producer. The woman, Jessica Mann, said she told no one about what had happened.

Former lawmaker Delaney ends 2020 Democratic presidential bid

The first Democrat to formally declare a run for the party's 2020 presidential nomination, former U.S. Representative John Delaney, on Friday said he was dropping out of the crowded race in order to make room for more moderate candidates. Delaney, a former business executive from Maryland, self-funded much of his campaign but has seen almost zero support in polls as Democrats close in on the first primary contest in Iowa on Monday.